The regulations on the use of electronic cigarettes in European countries seems to be a lot stricter than in the US and other parts of the world. E-cigarettes as they are otherwise known are a genius invention of one Hon Lik from China which you can read about in our history section. They are meant to act as a safe alternative to tobacco cigarette smoking. E-cigarettes are a battery powered device that produces nicotine vapor that the smoker inhales and blows out water vapor.
Even with all the advantages that the device has over the regular tobacco cigarette, there are serious health concerns that come with it. In some countries the e-juice content, as it is also known, is a controversial issue. Since it comes from China they are not so sure what the true contents are until it is subjected to thorough scrutiny.
In Denmark, the Danish Medicines Agency has classified nicotine containing e-cigarettes as medicine. Authorization is needed for the sale of such products in the country. However the sale of nicotine free e-cigs is allowed and even their use in Copenhagen airport is authorized. However, the Scandinavian Airlines prohibits the use of e-cigs on board their flights. This may well be a security move rather than a health matter.
In Finland only nicotine free electronic cigarettes may be sold within the country. In this country nicotine is classified under prescription medicines which require special authorization for their sale. Importation of nicotine cartridges with up to 10mg concentration is allowed from other countries as long as it is for private use and not for distribution. If the nicotine concentration is higher, then special authorization from a certified Finnish doctor is required.
Importation of one year’s supply of nicotine cartridges of the required concentration is allowed from countries within the European Economic Area, EEA. If this importation is from a country outside of the EEA then only a three month’s supply is allowed. Mail order supplies of the same are allowed only for a three month’s supply.
Legislation on the use of electronic cigarettes in Latvia is shaky since the Ministry of Health has actually warned on the risks of using this device such as heart and renal failure yet the cigarettes are sold to individuals at least 18 years of age.
In Netherlands, e-cigarettes are legal, however their advertising campaigns are outlawed until authorization from the European Union is certified. This however does not stop individuals looking for an alternative way to smoke from getting the best of the devices for their fix.
Electronic cigarettes and nicotine importation are prohibited in Norway unless they come from EEA member states such as the United Kingdom. Such legislation is put in place by the authorities to protect their country from counterfeit products that end up having an impact on their citizenry.
Switzerland is considered one of the countries that has great respect for human rights and this shows in the sale and use of e-cigarettes in this country. Only nicotine free cartridges may be sold within the country. Nicotine containing cartridges can be imported into the country but cannot be sold. These products are also taxed in the same way as tobacco products. Such taxation is bound to influence the sale and use of this product.
Ruyan, is the company that is forefront in the manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes. It is the company that the innovator of e-cigarettes works for having changed its name from Golden Dragon Holdings. This company has obtained authorization to sell its brand of e-cigarettes in pharmacies in New Zealand. This is after a ruling was enforced that required such registration and classified this brand of e-cigarettes as medicine.
Australia has its own issues regarding the sale and use of electronic cigarettes. It considers all nicotine based products apart from replacement therapy and cigarettes as poisons and prohibits their sale. In the state of Victoria however, there is a reprieve whereby, e-cigs can be bought over the internet and used privately. This legislation is only countered by state and territorial legislation.
These are just some of the countries that have legislation regarding e-cigarettes. The European Union is vague in its provisions for e-cigarettes use. It asks each country to come up with its own laws regarding the same. There is provision to change laws governing e-smoking whenever it is found that the health of the citizen is jeopardized.
There is the Electronic Cigarettes Association, CASAA that is determined to curb all claims of the medicinal nature of e-cigarettes made by manufacturers. Actually before a company joins this organization they have to categorically denounce such claims.
The World Health Organization which endorses the CASAA claims not be aware of any evidence supporting the cessation of smoking from the use of electronic cigarettes. This comes at a time when an online survey recently revealed that tobacco smokers who had switched to e-cigs had improved health including less coughs, better ability to exercise and better sense of smell. WHO is not ignoring such surveys, the issue is only the certification of such findings and proper legislation to govern the use of e-cigs.